Our view of the Galile

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Sign of all Times- Eikev 2016/5776

Insights and Inspiration
from the
Holy Land
Rabbi Ephraim Schwartz
"Your friend in Karmiel"

August 26th 2016 -Volume 6, Issue 47 8th Av 5776

Parshat Eikev

Sign of all Times
There was nothing I could say that could get him to come over. I tried everything. But he was a stubborn Israeli. You know the type. I mean it was Des Moines Iowa for gosh sake. How many Jews were there in this state? Yet he wouldn’t be budged. He came to America to start a new life and Judaism was not in his plans. His wife, Luna was sweet. She would babysit for us. She was interested in yiddishkeit. She would’ve loved to come for a Shabbos meal. But not Marseille. He knew that we were out for his soul. He was not coming.
It was finally Lag Ba’Omer time, providentially I bumped into Marseille in the supermarket. I think it was called Hy-Vee or some other Iowa sounding name. I went over to Marseille and invited him over for our annual BBQ. I assured him that there was absolutely nothing religious about it. It was just a few of us Jews getting together for a “mangal”- an Israeli word for BBQ that always conjures up road-kill in my mind. We would just chill, have some beers, play some music and sit around a fire. C’mon, I told him, how many MOT’s are there here anyways? We gotta stick together.
Much to my surprise it worked. Marseille and Luna showed up. Cool! I sat down with him under a tree, I remember, and we started to schmooze. I asked him a question. I told him that I had once seen a statistic about what percentage of Jews in Israel have a mezuza on their door. He guessed that it was close to 75%. I told him that it was actually about 83%. Then I told him I saw a second poll. This one asked that if it was a law that you had to put a mezuza on your door, what percentage of Israelis would have one. He guessed that it was about 50%. Actually the statistic was closer to 42%. It seems that quite a number of religious Jews would also take it off. The anti-medinat Yisrael government ones would certainly be in a quandary.
I explained to him that the reason why I understood this would happen was because the commandments-the mitzvot were given to us to express our free-will and choose to serve Hashem. If someone is forced or externally-legislated to perform a mitzva, then in truth it is lack that essential component. It’s not the real thing. It’s not the way it’s meant to be.
I told Marseille that I believed in that concept fundamentally. I didn’t believe and would never try to force anyone to do any mitzva. Yet I wanted him to come for a Shabbat meal. If he doesn’t’ want to wear a Kippa, I was fine with that. If he didn’t want to come for Kiddush, didn’t want to make blessings, wanted to leave before bentching after the meal, it wouldn’t impact my desire at all to have him join us for our meal. I just wanted to spend time with my fellow Jew, with my brother, here in Iowa. He agreed! He came over that first Shabbos without a Kippa, he didn’t wash for the bread, he didn’t respond Amen to my blessings and he left before we bentched. But we had a great meal. So much so that two weeks later he came again and again. Eventually he put on a kippa, not long after he started sticking around for the whole meal including the bentching, and eventually he made his own Shabbat meals and even would come to classes.. A short while later he left Des Moines and I still have the letter that he wrote me in Hebrew.
Dear Rabbi Schwartz, I just want to thank you so much for all you hve done and shared with me and my family. You know when I lived in Israel if I saw a religious Jew- Lo Haya Shava Afilu et Harok Sheli-it wasn’t even worth wasting my spit on him. That’s the way I felt. But now out here in Iowa, together with your family, your community, our community. I believe that after 120 and you can go to our Father in Heaven and tell him that you have returned at least one son back home.
Thank You and Shalom,
This week’s Torah portion which continues the rebuke of Moshe Rabbeinu before he passes and before we enter the land contains in it the 2nd of the two parshiyot that command and are written in our mezuzot. The first being Shema from last week’s Torah portion. The Parsha tells us that we should beware lest our hearts will be seduced and we will turn away and serve false gods and Hashem willpersih us quickly from the good land that He has given us. So we should place these words on our heart and our souls and bind them as  sign on our arms and they should be tefillin between our eyes… and we shall write them upon the mezuzos-the doorposts of our homes. Rashi quotes a fascinating midrash that says-
“Even after you are exiled be distinguished through mitzvos. Put on Tefiilin, make mezuzos so that they shall not be new to you when you will return as it says in Yirmiyahu “Erect markers for yourself”.
The Midrash in fact quotes a parable of a King who got angry at his wife and she was sent to her father’s house. Before leaving the King told her that she should continue to wear he fine robes so that when she returns it shouldn’t feel new to her.
Many of the commentaries deal with the strange question of why one would think that we are not obligated in the commandments upon being exiled. Besides the commandments that depend on living in Israel or the Temple seemingly all the mitzvos are always applicable. Also why does Rashi choose these two mitzvos, or better yet, why does the Torah enumerate these particular mitzvos as being the signs and markers that we should be careful with.
Reb Yonasan Eibishutz suggests a fascinating insight where he views the greatest threat to the Jewish people is that we forget how different we are how special we are. After the trauma of the Exile, after the millennia of persecution, the natural desire of our people is to become like all other nations. To assimilate. To give up our mandate, our chosen nation status. To forget how loved we are by Hashem, by the King. We need markers to hang up that the light is still on. To distinguish ourselves. That is the Tefilin that is the mezuzot. The Tefilin is like that incredible hug every morning that our parent gives a child before he sends him off to school. “I love you honey, be good”. A kiss on the head right between the eyes so that it should penetrate our minds and a warm hug that brings that embrace right up to our hearts. We leave our house and we have one last kiss good-bye. That doorway that tells us I’ll be here when you come home. I’ll be waiting for you. We kiss that post. We feel that our house is different than any other one down the block.
The mitzvos of Tefilin and Mezuza are found in the section of the Rambam known as Ahava/ Love. That is the signs that we have to place for ourselves. If we feel loved in our Galut, in our Exile, then it won’t feel strange when we will be redeemed.
Hashem is telling the Jewish people that the redemption will come. He tells us this even as he tells us that we will be exiled. But He wants us to know that we will return to Him, but it should not be like a long-lost son that is first meeting his birth-father. Rather it is like the father that is with us even through allour hardships. That is there to give us that hug and kiss every morning, every night that our house no matter where it may be still has a marker on it that says this is a home with love. This is a home that will be redeemed. Hashem can’t force us to do mitzvos. He can’t force us to accept that love. But what child doesn’t appreciate having it? What child could say no to that precious embrace? Is it any wonder that as distant as we Jews might be from observance yet when someone buys a house they still look for that mezuza. That whenever one puts on Tefilin and closes one’s eyes one can feel that special connection.
Perhaps the most meaningful moment I experienced was when Marseille asked me to find him a mezuza for his apartment. It had been a few months since he had started coming. As we were nailing it to the door I spoke about the sign of the mezuza being that sign the light is still on. As he made the blessing, and I recited amen. I thought about the generations before him that had done this same mitzva. The hundreds of communities throughout the millennia since we were exiled from our Land that his family must have traversed. They each had that sign, that post, that love note tacked onto the door. Am Yisrael Chai. Od Avinu Chai.
Have a great Shabbos,
Rabbi Ephraim Schwartz

https://youtu.be/yhoeIe-eFJw This is last weeks Parsh but I just thought very cool song vaetchanan by nebi musa- the prayers of Moshe to Hashem to allow him in the land song by Kobi Eved

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wf8CpMduLak  – rare footage of the Satmar Rebbe-yartzeit this week Reb Yoel Teitelbaum- interesting that the song they sing I know as Tzion Tzion which is kind of ironic I guess.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnYXSffZK38 A moving tribute to Esther Jungreiss who passed this week- the mother of the Kiruv movement

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYzXhsMt8vk uncle Moishy Mezuza song


“Az dos harts iz ful, geyen di oygn iber..”- When the heart is full, the eyes overflow.


In the old country, I was a father at home, and could be a Rebbe in the city. But here this is simply not suitable. I have to be a father to my community, and a Rebbe at home”

“If I had the strength (he was in his sixties at the time) I’d also go to work-Poverty can sway a man from loyalty to his Creator.”  Encouraging his chasidim to find gainful employment upon finding many of them sitting in his shul learning rather than going to work

 “How many people did you invite to your wedding?” “At how much per couple? … What did your furniture cost? … So much? And you want the community to support you? Forget about it. Kollel is not for you.”.-  The Rebbe’s screening process to be accepted in his Kollel

“I don’t care if I’m left with only one minyan of adherents. I’ll not refrain from expressing my beliefs.”

Rav Yoel Teitelbaum the Satmar Rebbe (5647 / 1887 - 5739 / 1979).
The Satmar Rav, a direct descendant of both the famed Yismach Moshe and the Chavas Daas, was recognized as a young man for his unusual lomdus, hasmadah and tzidkus – Torah scholarship, diligence and piety. By the outbreak of World War 11, he was Rav of the thriving community of Satmar and had emerged as one of the leading figures in Hungarian Jewry. From childhood, the Satmar Rebbe was a paragon of holiness and purity. Throughout his life, his face shone with the purity of an innocent child, and until his final days no creases marked his countenance.
When the Divrei Yechezkel of Shineva saw the nine-year-old Yoelish at the wedding of his brother, the Atzei Chaim, the Divrei Yechezkel commented, “That child has holy eyes.”
At his bar mitzvah he stunned the entire assemblage by delivering a two-hour drashah, replete with deep and meaningful chiddushim. His father’s ensuring his immersion in the depths of Torah in his young years would yet be of inestimable benefit to Klal Yisrael.
From the time of his Bar Mitzvah until the outbreak of World War I1 – a period of forty years – Reb Yoel never slept on a bed, except for Shabbosos – studying Torah, on his feet, by day and by night … In the internment camp in Bergen-Belsen, not only did he eat nothing that might have been un-kosher, subsisting mostly on potatoes, but he fasted as often as four times a week.
His father, the Kedushat Yom Tov passed away when Reb Yoel was only 17 years of age. He was appointed Rav of Musza in Czechoslovakia and in 1911, when he was in his early twenties, Reb Yoel was appointed Rav of Orshiva. Thirteen years later he became Rav of Kruly, where he founded a yeshivah. In 1934, after the death of the  Harav Eliezer Dovid Greenwald of Satmar,  he became Rav from 1935 to 1944 and transferred his yeshivah there.
The Satmar Rebbe endured his share of suffering during the Holocaust. Dr. P. Kennedy, a Hungarian Zionist leader who was with the Rebbe for five months in Bergen-Belsen, relates that the Rebbe’s beard was unskillfully concealed with a kerchief on the pretext of a toothache. The Nazis nearly cut it on several occasions, but it was miraculously saved and remained intact.
He was one of 1684 Hungarian Jews saved from the Nazi killing machine as a result of the negotiations of Rav Michael Ber Weissmandl with Adolf Eichmann, ym’s. With rachamei Shamayim, Reb Yoel made it out of Hungary during the war, and after a brief stay in Switzerland he arrived in Eretz Yisrael.
In 1946, he arrived in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn and rebuilt the Satmar community.
When he settled in Williamsburg shortly after arriving in the United States, he found a handful of his followers in a bais hamidrash all day, saying Tehillim, learning Chok – and spending their time in “the Rebbe’s Court”. He summoned them to him and insisted that they find jobs to support their families. He felt that he could not be oblivious to the stress on material well-being that marks American society. A viable community could only take shape if it is self-supporting on a level comparable to that of the surrounding society. By the same token, he guided his followers to give tzeddakah expansively – not to shy away from a sweeping gesture of generosity. Today, members of the Satmar community are active in all phases of business and commerce, as well as in a wide spectrum of occupations, ranging from grocers to computer programmers. And the community itself supports a host of social services, most notably its bikur-cholim program – administering to the sick, with fleets of cars and vans carrying hundreds of volunteers to hospitals all over New York, throughout the day.
He was a Gaon who’s almost unparalleled genius was respected by all. His piety and sanctity were viewed with awe; indeed, his lifetime was a saga of kedushah. He stood as a bastion of Torah, unswerving and uncompromising through all the raging tempests of the anti-Torah rebellions of his turbulent times.
The Satmar Rebbe vehemently opposed Zionism and secularism in all forms, and was a great kana’i when it came to matters of kiddush Shem Shamayim. He fought the founding of the State of Israel, predicting that it would lead to the destruction of many spiritual values. Most of world Jewry had accepted the Zionist dream. And even many among those who had rejected its limited, secular definition of Jewishness were excited by the emergence of the State of Israel, and the miraculous victories in ’48, ’56 and ’67. The Satmar Rav was often alone in consistently condemning the State as the pure embodiment of a secular ideal, a ma’ase Sattan: dismissing victories on the battlefield as an ideological minefield; opposing mass aliyah as a violation of the Three Vows (T.B. Kesubos 11a : Binding Jewry not to force its way into Eretz Yisrael, nor to rebel against the nations, and the nations not to subjugate the Jews excessively.) for settling the country in defiance of world opinion; and participation in the government in any form – even voting in national elections – as strengthening a reprehensible concept by implied recognition. Like some other schools, those of the Eida Hachreidis, which is in the Satmar orbit, do not accept funding from the Israeli government.
he mainstream of the Torah leadership did not subscribe to his approach toward dealing with the Israeli government. Even those most strongly opposed to the State’s philosophy accepted its existence and, at worst, felt compelled to deal with it as they would with any government that ruled a land where Jews lived. At times they were deeply upset with his unyielding approach – such as Rabbi Aharon Kotler’s vexation with the Rebbe for “publicly opposing the Chazon Ish, Reb Isser Zalman Meltzer, the Belzer Rebbe and the Tchebiner Rav – all of whom held that voting in Israeli national elections was an obligation on every Torah Jew who took the needs of the Yishuv to heart.” Nonetheless, they were always aware of the Satmar position and often measured their stance against the extremes of the Satmar-Neturei Karta ideology. And even the most rabid, anti-religious secularist was aware of the “on the other hand,” represented by this one man’s uncompromising stance.
It was not only in regard to its extreme anti-Zionism that the Satmar Rav had molded his community as “a group apart,” in the manner of Avraham Halvri. He also guided it to being distinguished in its total lack of compromise in mode of dress – not yielding to American pressures, neither in style nor in lack of modesty. If anything, the newer generations have reinforced their dedication to the standards of “Jewishness in dress” that had prevailed in Satmar of old.
Thus, the Satmar Rav’s relentless demands for the highest religious standards proved to be an important contribution toward changing the complexion of a significant segment of Orthodox life in America. Witness: Holocaust survivors and their American-born grandchildren – dayanim (rabbinical judges), rabbanim, diamond polishers, computer technicians, and gas-pump attendants among them – who proudly walk the streets of the New World in traditional garb, making the shtreimel an every week feature of many communities.
His unrelenting search for truth was not reserved for public issues alone, but was also uncompromisingly applied to himself.
Reb Yoel wrote a series of sefarim on Chumashmo’adim and various subjects in Shas, as well as she’eilot u’teshuvot entitled Divrei Yoel. He also wrote the sefer Vayoel Moshe and a kuntres, Al Hageulah Ve’al Hatemurah.
The Satmar Rebbe was niftar on 26 Menachem Av 5739/1979 and was buried in the beit hachaim in Kiryat Yoel in Monroe, New York.

answer below at end of Email
An active monastery in the Judean Desert is:
  1. Martyrius, in Ma’ale Adumim
  2. Euthymius, in Mishor Adumim
  3. George, in Wadi Qelt
  4. Haritun, in the Tekoa area
Every word of Rashi counts. Especially the easy Rashis. If Rashi says something and explains something he does it once. He doesn’t repeat himself. And if he explains himself a second time inevitably if you look carefully at his words you will reveal something incredible in your understanding of the verse.
This week Rashi explains the mitzva of Tefillin. As we read the parsha and the mitzva, we appreciate we have heard this mitzva before. We read it last week in the first chapter of Shema as well as earlier in Bo twice. It’s fascinating to contrast the four times that Rashi discusses this mitzva. The way he reads the verses and the lessons that can be found.
In Bo (Shemos 13:9) And it shall be for you as a sign on your hand and a rememberance between your eyes in order that the Torah of Hashem should be in your mouth that with an outstretched arm Hashem took you out of Egypt.
There Rashi says: And it shall be a sign- The Exodus from Egypt shall be a sign
On your arm and a remembrance between your eyes- that you shall write these parshas and tie them on your head and arm –interesting point Rashi puts head before arm here different then the verse.
Later on at the end of Bo  (Shemos 13:16) the verse says- And it shall be a sign on your hand and totafot between your eyes-
Rashi says-Totafot bein einecha- Tefilin; they are thus named Totfot because of the four ‘houses’. Tat in kaspi (language) Pat in african is 2.
Rashi then brings another interpretation that Menachem connects them with the word taf to speak that one who sees them tied between the eyes will remember the miracle.- Interesting that Rashi brings this second pshat as well. Also it’s interesting that he notes that it’s four because of four houses. Seemingly there are four portions. This is different then what he does in Devarim
Last week’s Torah portion in the first chapter of Shema we have the verse and you shall tie it upon your hand and it shall be for totafot between your eyes
There Rashi says one word (Devarim 6:8) And you shall tie on your hands- these are the tefilin of the arm
Interesting seemingly Rashi told us that already except there he said that by the rosh but what else would it be?
The next Rashi seems even more repitive- And it shall be Totafor between your eyes- these are the Tefilin of the head-and they are thus called by the number of the parshas they are called Totfot; Tat is 2 in Katpi and Pat is 2 in African.
This is very strange why does he repeat this if he told us this already? Here he separates between the head and arm. And here as well he says it’s four because of the portions.
Finally in our portion where we read the second parsha of Shema is read when he brings the mitzva of Tefillin Rashi on the verse
And you shall place them- (upon your hearts and your souls and you shall tie them on your hands and they shall be totafot between your eyes)-Even after you are exiled you should be unique in your mitzvos. Place Tefilin and make mezuzot in order that they shall not be like new to you when you return.
I guess one central question is why the Torah uses a word like totafot that is 2+2. Why not just a word that is four? Another interesting question, that perhaps will reflect and answer all of this is, what did it say in the tefillin that the Jews wore in Egypt after this commandment, or in the wilderness until the 40th year when Moshe said the speech of Shema and Vehaya. Many commentaries, and I believe Rashi as well feels this way is that until Devarim they had four boxes but only the first two parshas. That would explain why there he only says houses- not parshas. Here in Devarim is when they totafot is for the Parshas. Also as well the tefillin of Egypt as Rashi notes are about the exodus from Egypt. It is primarily a mitzva of remembrance. Which is why he focuses on the head. Here in Devarim it is about remembering the love of Hashem acceptance of his Kingship in the first portion kabalat ol shamayim. The second portion is about accepting his mitzvos. Here Rashi divides them up; Tefilin of head and Tefilin of arm- this being the source for two distinct mitzvos. Whereas in Egypt it was primarily one mitzva, as it is one theme. That will answer as well why he goes out of his way to say 2+2. Two concepts in two places. There it is 4 houses 2+2 and here it is 4 parshas 2+2. Rashi notes that this second Parsha the observance of these particular commandments are being repeated to teach us that even in Exile we must observe the commandments. Because we will return. It’s fantastic how Rashi writes that as a given. The mitzvos the tefillin are our signs. They are the sparks that we will return.
Each Rashi a lesson. Each Rashi a world of insight.

Students of the Gaon of Vilna come to Israel 26th Av 5569 - August 8, 1809- A group of 70 "Perushim" Talmidim / Students of the great Lithuanian sage, the Vilna Gaon, arrived in Eretz Yisroel, after traveling via Turkey by horse and wagon. The name Perushim comes from the Hebrew‎‎ parash, meaning "to separate". The group sought to separate themselves from what they saw as the impurities of the society around them in Europe, and the name literally means 'separated (individuals)'. Coincidentally this was the same name by which the Pharisees of antiquity were known.
The Vilna Gaon, himself, set out for the Holy Land in 1783, but for unknown reasons did not attain his goal. However, he inspired his disciples to make the move, and they became pioneers of modern settlement in Eretz Yisroel. (A large contingent of chassidic Jews arrived in Tzefat around the same time.) HaRav Yisroel of Shklov, the leader of the 1809 group, settled in Tzefat, and six years later moved to Yerushalayim where he founded the modern Ashkenazic community. Many minhagei yerushalayim derive from the traditions they brought with them.

Influenced by the Vilna Gaon, who had wanted to go to Eretz Yisrael but was unable to do so, a large group of his Perushim disciples and their families, numbering over 500, with a few dozen younger earlier scouts, were inspired to follow his vision. The perushim began their journey from the city of Shklov, about 300 kilometers southeast of Vilna in Lithuania. The organization they formed was called Chazon Tzion ("Prophecy/Vision [of] Zion"), and was based on three main principles:
a)      Rebuild Jerusalem as the acknowledged Torah center of the world
b)      Aid and speed the ingathering of the Jewish exile
c)      Expand the currently settled areas of the Land of Israel.
Enduring great hardships and danger, they traveled to and settled in the Holy Land, where they had a profound effect on the future history of the Yishuv haYashan- the Old Yishuv.
Reaching the shores of Palestine, however, was not the end of their journey. When the perushim first arrived, they faced a ban on Ashkenazi Jews settling in Jerusalem. The ban had been in effect from the early 18th century when, as a result of outstanding debts, the Ashkenazi synagogues of the Old City had been forcibly closed and many Ashkenazim were forced out of the city and barred from returning. While some managed to evade the ban by entering Jerusalem disguised as Sephardi Jews, most of the perushim journeyed on to Tzfat, where they joined a strong Sephardi community that was already there. Besides the Sephardim, the community included many Hasidic Jews, with whom the perushim had an ongoing feud. However, the two groups set aside their ideological differences and worked hand in hand to settle the land and develop their community and eventually intermarried.
Because flourishing agriculture was seen as a sign of Redemption, the immigrants had brought agricultural implements with them, so that they could observe the biblical commandments connected to working the soil in the Holy Land.
In the year 1837 a devastating earthquaqe hit Tzfat, leveled the city and seriously damaged Tiberias where 4,000 people perished, including about 2000 Jews and 200 members of the perushim community in Safed.
Believing that the catastrophe was a direct product of their neglect of Jerusalem, the surviving members of the perushim community in Safed decided that the only hope for their future in the Land of Israel would be to reestablish themselves in Jerusalem. However, entrance to the Jerusalem could only be gained once the decree against Ashkenazim had been annulled. The perushim could then reclaim ownership of the Hurva Synagogue and its surrounding courtyard and homes, sites that were historically Ashkenazi property.
The refugees succeeded in renewing the Ashkenazi presence in Jerusalem, after nearly a hundred years of banishment by the local Arabs. The arrival of the Perushim encouraged an Ashkenazi revival in Jerusalem, which until that time had been mostly Sephardi.
The group, led by HaRav Yisroel of Shklov, zt"l, experienced many hardships. The early years were fraught with Arab attacks, earthquakes, and a cholera epidemic. Rav Yisroel authored,Pe'at Hashulchan, a digest of the Jewish agricultural laws relating to Eretz Yisroel. (He had to rewrite the book after the first manuscript was destroyed in a fire.) The location of his grave remained unknown until it was discovered in Tverye / Tiberias, 125 years after his death. Today, the descendants of that original group are amongst the most prominent families in Yerushalayim.

Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous
God answers knee-mail
Life has many choices. Eternity has two. What’s yours?
Don’t give up. Moses was once a basket case
Forbidden fruit creates many jams
Don’t give God instructions – just report for duty
Don’t say ‘Our Father’ on Sabbath and spend the rest of the week acting like an orphan
If God were small enough for us to understand, he wouldn’t be big enough for us to worship
Why pray when you can worry?
If you can’t sleep Don’t count sheep Talk to the Shepherd
God doesn’t believe in atheists; therefore atheists do not exist
Where will you be sitting in eternity?Smoking or non-smoking?
We’re all invited to a heavenly feast, but we must RSVP!
As long as there are tests, there will be prayer in schools
Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, faith looks up
You can believe in God now – or later. Now is better

Answer is C – The answer is George. A great name for a monk. The Christians monks used to come to the Judean desert for seclusion and meditation in the 4-6th centuries. There’s a bunch of them around. This one is active. Nobody really cares. Except when you take a tour guiding exam.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Greatest Love of All- Parshat Vetchanan / Tu B'Av/ Nachamu 2016/5776

Insights and Inspiration
from the
Holy Land
Rabbi Ephraim Schwartz
"Your friend in Karmiel"

August 19th 2016 -Volume 6, Issue 46 15th Av 5776

Parshat Vaetchanan/Tu B’Av and Nachamu

The Greatest Love of All
They had known each other for years, but their love had never been consummated. They had grown closer and closer. They could feel the hot oxygen emanating from each other on their faces. But yet they never touched. They never felt that physical contact or the loving embrace of their beloved, their counterpart. All around them was a world full of color, full of connection, generations giving life to new generations. Yet like Romeo and Juliet these two remained doomed to never realizing that dream. They were frozen in time. Only about 2 inches from one another, but there it seemed they would always remain. Until a few months ago. When the tragic love story, seemed like it might just have a happy ending, despite many geologists predictions.
I’m talking of course about stalactites and stalagmites, you understand. Why what did you think this was about? For those non-scientific types out there or non-geologists. Stalactites and stalagmites are these little icicle-like looking things that are formed in caves from cracks that are formed by water dripping through a cave with a certain humidity level where the CO2 kind of burps out of these little cones and drips water with some of the stone dust and minerals to form another cone from the ground up. I know it doesn’t sound too romantic-especially with the burp in there. Nor does this sound to scientific. But I’m a Rabbi and a tour guide not a scientist. And the geology part of our course was in Hebrew about two month after I moved here when my Hebrew pretty much consisted of ‘shalom’, ‘peetza’, ‘falafel’ ‘shwarma’, ‘toda rabba’, ‘sherutim’. You know the important words. So when they started talking about
pachman and chamtzan du shtayim, I was kind of at a loss. Anyways in Israel in Mearat Hanetifim they have the largest concentration in one place of the greatest variety of these magnificent S&S’es. It’s a great place to really appreciate the beauty of Hashem’s creation. They take on all types of shapes and forms. With a bit of imagination one can see spaghetti, broccoli, a bride a groom, a wedding cake, a boat, smurfs, eggs a finger, Moses and even the Lion King. It’s really cool. Just to think that this is really something that geologists estimate with a growth rate of .2 mm a year it took hundreds of thousands of years if not more to form which for us observant Jews who believe that Hashem created the world 5776 years ago would mean that he created it this way in the 6 days of Creation. So stepping into these caves that were left untouched by man, until they were uncovered in 1968 by a dynamite blast, is like stepping into that pristine world of Creation and it is truly awesome.
One of the highlights of the cave that tour-guides like to show is the stalactite and stalagmite that they have named Romeo and Juliette. They stand literally an inch or so apart and for some reason before connecting it dried up. There was no water dripping out from the top to the bottom. It was the unrequited love. I would bring tourists there and I always commented that it was to me like that love between Hashem and the Jewish people. From top to bottom. We had almost connected. We had almost joined heaven and earth. But it stopped. I always believed that one day they would come together and just few months ago. The impossible seemed to happen. They started dripping once again. There is hope. Much to the geologists and scientists predictions that it was hopeless. Which of course gave me much satisfaction. Like most Yeshiva guys we like when scientists are proven wrong- it makes me feel less bad about skipping all those classes when we were in yeshiva J. That true eternal love is on its way. I’m not one for interpreting heavenly signs. But I sure am hopeful… Maybe that happy ending will be here as well for us.
It’s a romantic week this week. This Friday is the holiday of Tu B’Av- the fifteenth day of Av (Tu is the numerical value of 15 Tet-9 plus vav pronounced U as 6). The Talmud tells us that in early times ‘there were no happier days for the Jewish people then the 15th of Av and Yom Kippur, when the daughters of Israel would get dressed in white and dance in the vineyards and court the young men to marry them”. A little different then I would say we celebrate Yom Kippur today- I must say. But that’s another E-Mail. In modern times I’ve seen many places that advertise and call this the “Jewish Valentines Day”. Oyy… Primarily flower stores and synagogues that are trying to get people into their doors with some extra enticing summer singles programming. I saw one ad that called it “Tu B’Av is Two B’Love” Oy Oy Oy….
I don’t think that’s what our sages were talking about.

So what is the reason for this holiday? How come most people haven’t heard of it? What’s it about?
The Talmud at the end of Tractate Taanit 26: says
"On these days, the young maidens of Yerushalayim would emerge in the streets wearing borrowed white clothing [so as not to embarrass the poor who did not have garments of their own. They would form a circle (and dance) in the vineyards. What would they say (while they danced)? 'Young man, lift up your eyes and appreciate whom you are selecting (to marry). Don't look at our beauty. Instead, look at the family (from which we descend).' It is written (Song of Songs 3:11), 'Go out and look, you daughters of Zion, at King Shlomo's crown, which was adorned by his mother, (for him to wear) at the day of his wedding and the day of his heart's rejoicing.' The expression 'at the day of his wedding' refers to the Giving of the Torah, (Yom Kippur when the second tablets were given) and the expression 'the day of his heart's rejoicing' refers to the rebuilding of the Beit Hamikdash (the Temple in Jerusalem), may it occur swiftly in our lifetime."
Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? What happened on this day? Perhaps Jacob found his beloved Rachel? No? Adam met Eve? No. How about Ruth married Boaz? And again no? So what did happen on this day to make it such a special day?
The Talmud tells us quite a few things. Some seemingly not so comprehensible. The first thing historically that happened we are told that the Jews as the end of the forty years in the wilderness stopped dying. Doesn’t that sound romantic to you? Makes you just want to go out and dance in the vineyards, doesn’t it? Why is this a happy thing? The reason why the Jews stopped dying is because all the men age 20-60 that were meant to have died over the 40 years were dead. Meaning that there tens of thousands of orphans and widows that entered the land of Israel. This would seem like a good day to make a fundraiser or prayer ceremony for widows and orphans. Or maybe just to have a marry-a-widow holiday. In fact that theme seems to continue for the next point in history where it comes up we are told is even before the temple was built- which would then make it obviously before its destruction on the 9th of Av-is in the end of the book of judges after the great civil war where we almost wipe out the tribe of Binyamin and the tribes did not want to marry them. On Tu B’Av, our sages tell us, they decided to once again allow their women to marry them. And they would gather in Shilo and dance and carry off their brides. This is certainly a little more romantic however again it is only after they tribe was on the brink of destruction.
To make matters even stranger some of the next reasons for the holiday seem even more bizzare. The Talmud tells us that it was a day that the10’s of thousands of dead after the Bar Kochva revolt were finally permitted to be buried. And because it was on this day that they would stop cutting trees for the altar, as the summer equinox was ending and there was no longer enough sun to dry out the trees. So maybe this should be an ecological holiday or a day for the Chevra Kaddisha- Jewish burial society. What does this have to do with marriage? With romance? With Tu B’Love?
If you ask me perhaps the most romantic thing about Tu B’Av which is not mentioned in the Talmud is that it is the middle of the month. It’s a full moon. Is there anything more romantic then that? The sky is clear, you are out in the field with your beloved. The sun is setting and that huge moon starts to rise and shines its beautiful light amongst the stars down on the face of your beloved. The 15th is the peak of the month of Av. It’s when the moon is at its fullest. In the words of Rabbi Nachman of Breslav it’s when the Kinnot-lamentations turn to tikkun- to fixing to completion. This past Sunday we were sitting on the floor mourning the destruction, yet we are told that at Mincha on Tish B’Av from that destruction Mashiach is born. The Talmud noted above calls Tu B’Av the day of the rebuilding of the Temple. In it is pointed out by many that the first day of Passover always falls out on the same day of the week as the 9th of Av. To tell us that just as the first redemption took place on Passover the eventual celebration of the building of the Temple will as well take place on the same day in Av. Just as by Pesach it took us until the 7th day by the splitting of the sea until we truly realized the salvation was complete and we burst out in song. The 15th of Av- the 7th day from the 9th of Av is the realization the simcha of that day of the building of that Temple. It is when the moon is fullest it was when we can see clearly that the smoke of destruction has been pre-empted already with the day of return. It is when we reveal that we can reconnect and the juices, the oxygen the fuel that we need to rise up and meet our beloved once again is within us.

Let’s work backwards. Rabbi Akiva and his students felt that the revolt against the Romans was the Messianic period after the destruction of the Temple. Yet they were crushed. Hadrian slaughtered us. It was when we thought it was truly all over. We couldn’t even bury our dead. Hadrian didn’t permit it. Why not? Why do we bury any dead? Because we believe that they are our treasure, because we were taken from dust, we will return from dust, but most importantly because we believe we will rise up again by the resurrection of the dead. There will be a future. Our death is merely like a seed being returned to the ground only with time to grow and flourish. When we were able on the 15th of Av able to do that again. We didn’t just have closure. We understood that Hashem was telling us that our future would come. We will rise again.
In the times of the Temple ceased to cut the wood for the altar on this day. The sun would no longer be hot enough to dry out the logs. We had all the fuel we needed. We could now light the fire from ourselves. Hashem had provided us with the wood, all we needed to do was to ignite it. With our fire, with our faith, with our longing with our love. The Talmud tells us that on Tu B’Av as well the barriers that were set up to divide the Jewish people by Yeravam and keep the northern kingdom-the 10 tribes separate from Jerusalem were removed by the King Hoshea. We had thought we were divided. That Hashem Echad that can only be seen when the nation is one on this world would never happen. And yet on the 15th of Av, we realized we are ‘too small a people to be a small people’. We can get together. Love and connection that we share can see past all the politics, the fights and the religious differences. The Jews returned to the Temple.
Even before the Temple when we first came to the Land as well. Can you imagine the devastation after the civil war. The vision of that kingdom of Israel, that dream to one day build the Temple would never happen. Jew killed Jew tens of thousands from the tribe of Benjamin would murdered and tens of thousands of Jews were murdered by them. One can’t even fathom that. The Civil War in America was ‘peanuts’ compared to that war. And yet when all was said and done. On the 15th of Av we saw that full moon and realized that we could still reconnect. We can still find love. That stalactite from above still had some juice in it and we just need to join in a circle find our bashert and create the highest love, the holiest marriage from what seemed like the ashes of our destruction.
And finally to where it all began from. The first 15th of Av. It was a week after the last 9th of Av in the wilderness. For forty years each morning after the 9th of Av the tribes woke up and buried their dead. But that year they didn’t. They had all died. It was all over. Was it a mistake? Did they miscalculate? They waited a week and on the 15th they realized that they had truly come to the end. Yet is that a cause for celebration. For weddings? For romance? The Talmud tells us that something else happened that year on that morning for the first time in 38 years Hashem spoke to Moshe face-to face once again. The shechina had once again returned to that same pristine state that it was before we rejected and complained about Israel. The claim that we had that Hashem took us out of Egypt because He hates us was finally eradicated. There was no longer any hate. We had healed. The voice of Hashem returned. Rashi notes in last week’s parsha that although Moshe did not do anything wrong by the sin of the spies, Hashem didn’t speak to him directly with that clarity until the 15th of Av. “to teach us that the shechina only spoke to him in that merit of Israel”. 38 years we don’t have that clarity. Which if you ask me is why there is so little in the Torah about that period of time. Once the shechina comes back Moshe doesn’t stop transmitting. The entire book of Devarim is the ecstasy of that returned and reunited love. There is nothing more powerful than that.

There are those that say that one does not realize how special, how important, how much you loved someone until that person is taken away from you. The 15th of Av, that most powerful day of rejoicing is the day that after you realized how much you have lost, how much, you have loved, how much you need that relationship and how much you are in pain and your life is in disarray and incomplete without it, that all of sudden you get it all back. You get it for real. It’s not a day of romance. It’t a day of true love. Of eternal love. Not of Romeo and Juliet and not of stalactites and mites, but of heaven and earth, of Hashem and his beloved, of our people with one another. It is His kingdom and His home finally on earth. It is the greatest love of all. And if those stalactites are any sign, we should be experiencing it pretty soon…
 Have a love-filled Shabbos that is doubly comforting and full of love!
Rabbi Ephraim Schwartz


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmyKFLQDHns Yaakov Shwekey newest video ‘We Are a Miracle’ Powerful!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSA0pkEsenI  – TU B’Av song I think I wanna marry you…OY!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T1dnPU0ZlM Romeo and Juliet stalagtites in Hebrew if you want just skip 2:04 to see Romeo and Juliet

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3tMvGgCEx0 Chevron massacre of 1929 this week Yartzeit of the week- graphic pictures warning but very moving and chilling

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWWuYadWME0and finally bonus Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach live Nachamu!


“Az da krigst zikh, krig zikh azoi du zolst zikh kennen iberbeten.”- If you quarrel- quarrel in  a way that you can reconcile

Hard as the world is to explain with the Almighty, it is harder yet without the Holy One”

 ""Accordingly, you and I should go there so they can have a sample of each.".-  quoted when he was once seated at dinner next to an important personality and an anti-Semite, who told him he had just returned from Japan where they "have neither pigs nor Jews." 

Sir  Moshe Chaim Montefiore- 16th Av this Shabbos (1784-1884)-Moses Montefiore was born in the  Italian city of Livorno. His grandfather, Moses Chaim Montefiore was a Sephardic Jew from that city, who later settled in London. He had 17 sons, one of whom, Joseph Elijah, was the father of Moses. When Joseph Elijah, together with his wife, traveled on business to Livorno, Moses was born there.
Moses Montefiore was raised in England in an atmosphere of Torah and Mitzvoth, and he remained a staunch, devout Jew throughout his entire life. In London he developed a big business, together with his brother Abraham. They did business with the Rothschilds: dealt in finance, and large industrial and commercial establishments. They formed an Insurance Company; a Gas Company, that introduced gas-lighting into many of the important cities of Europe. They also had a hand in the building of railroads, and in many other industrial and financial enterprises.
Moses Montefiore accumulated great wealth and became famous. In 1837 he was appointed "Sheriff" of London. He was the second Jew to occupy that important position. In the same year, Queen Victoria, who had just ascended the British throne, gave him the honorary title of "Knighthood," with the title "Sir" and in 1846 he was elevated to the rank of Baron.
Moses Montefiore differed from certain other Jews who, upon accumulating wealth and honor, sad to say, turn away from their religion. Moses Montefiore, remained a religious Jew his entire life. At an early age, he started to interest himself in the lot of his fellow Jews. Later on, he used his great influence to obtain equal rights for the Jews in England. He was Gabbai (trustee) of the Sephardic Congregations of London, and was six times elected as Community Leader (Rosh HaKahal). For a period of 36 years, he was the head of the "Jewish Board of Deputies" - the organization of the United Congregations, and of elected Jewish officials, who represented British Jewry. When, at the age of 90, he gave up his position, the United Congregations of England gave him a farewell gift -12,000 pounds sterling. He donated the entire sum to build houses for the poor in Jerusalem. Being an orthodox Jew, he naturally loved the Holy Land, and he supported the worthy institutions most generously. He visited Eretz Yisroel seven times -the last time being in 1875, at the age of 91. If we take into consideration that a journey in those days entailed great difficulties, we can then realize what it meant for a person of such an advanced age to undertake such a trip. He distributed a vast amount of money in Eretz Yisroel; he built Synagogues, supported Yeshivos, and founded various types of important institutions. He had previously built a tomb over Mother Rachel's grave, in 1866, the magnificent tomb which is so well known. The Jews in Eretz Yisroel regarded him as a G‑d sent messenger, sent to help them in their great need.
When the terrible blood-libel broke out in Damascus in 1840, Sir Moses Montefiore went there personally to defend the falsely accused Jews. The outrageously false blood-libel (that Jews use Christian blood in the Matzah for Pesach) that had cost so many Jewish lives in the dark times of the Middle Ages, and was then renewed in Damascus, not only threatened the lives of the accused, but also those of the entire community, and of Jews everywhere. Sir Moses Montefiore (with the help of other prominent Jewish and non-Jewish leaders) managed to persuade the Sultan to issue a "firman" (decree) in which he declared the blood-libel to be false and prohibited its renewal.
In 1846 the Russian government officially invited Sir Moses Montefiore to visit Russia in connection with the Jewish situation in Russia. The Czarist government, aided by some leaders of the "Haskalah" ("Enlightenment") movement, tried to Russify, i.e., assimilate, the broad masses of Russian Jewry. The government hoped that with the support of such an important Jewish personality as Sir Moses Montefiore, it would certainly win its fight against the religious Jewish leaders in Russia, who refused to cooperate with the government in this matter, and who hindered every effort to force assimilation on Russian Jewry. Montefiore accepted the invitation, with the intention seeing what he could do about the persecutions and pogroms which so often plagued the Jews there.
When Montefiore arrived in Petersburg (now called Leningrad), the Czarist minister, Minister of the Interior and Minister of Education, greeted him with a long list of "accusations" against Russian Jewry and their religious leaders. He undertook a trip through the towns and villages where the Jews lived, and upon returning to London, he compiled two memoranda from the material he gathered during his trip. Following that visit Sir Moses Montefiore wrote to them in a polite but firm manner, so as not to incite them that the Jewish problem in Russia had nothing to do with the Jews' education, which happened to be on a high level. He denied the false accusations made against the Jews, and in turn, accused the government of dealing falsely with the Jews; he described the terrible economic position of the Jews because of government decrees, expulsions, pogroms, and economic sanctions. He demanded equal rights for the Jews, and stressed that it would also be a blessing for the country. Thanks to the great self-sacrifice of the Russian Jews, who were strengthened and encouraged by Montefiore's efforts on their behalf, the government finally gave up many of its plans to force conversion and assimilation of the Russian Jews. Their economic position also took a turn for the better because of Montefiore's recommendations.
Sir Moses Montefiore was also received in audience by the Pope in Rome (in 18 5 8 ) when he went there to intercede on behalf of an Italian Jewish boy who was forcibly converted as a small child lying ill in bed. The gentile maid "sprinkled him with water," and the church declared him to be a Christian. The boy was forcibly taken away from his parents and brought up as a Christian. The case of the child Murtara caused a great storm of indignation, but no intercession helped to return the child to his Jewish parents.
When in Rumania, on a visit to help his Jewish brothers there, Sir Moses Montefiore once found himself in grave danger when a wild mob wanted to attack him. He narrowly escaped with his life. Nothing deterred him, however, when it was a question of helping his poor, persecuted brothers.
Sir Moses Montefiore died on the 13th of Av 5645 (1885) at the ripe old age of over 100 years.
His Yahrzeit(anniversary) is observed yearly by the institutions which are maintained even today from the funds that he left for this purpose.

answer below at end of Email
In the past, the Jews of Acre were buried in:
A.    Kfar Yassif
B.  Yarka
C.  Jadide
D.  Tel Regev

OK we’ve been doing this for close to a year now. It’s your turn to learn a Rashi the way it should be learned. Let’s see how far you’ve come. Let’s see if anybody actually reads this section of the E-mail. Let’s do it different this week. I’m going to give you a Rashi and it’s your turn to examine and try to come up with the secrets, the ideas and perhaps something Rashi is trying to teach us. It’s a verse that we are all familiar with. We recite it twice a day it’s part of the Shema. The Torah tells us (Devarim 6:7)
 V’Shinantom l’vanecha- and you shall teach them {the words of Torah) to your sons
The verse seems simple enough, the previous Rashi notes the strange terminology of Vshinantom rather then Vlimadita means to express sharpness so that they know it well enough to answer anyone. Then comes the Rashi that I want to focus on that has been troubling me this week here it is
L’vanecha-to your sons Rashi- these are your students. We have found in all places that your students are called sons as it says (ibid 14:1) ‘You are sons to Hashem, your God’ and it says (Kings II 2:3) ‘The sons of the prophets who were in Beit El’ and so it is with Hezekia who taught Torah to all Israel and called them sons, as it says (Divrei Hayamim II 29:1) ‘My sons do not be negligent now.And just as students are called sons so is the rabbi/teacher called a father as it says Kings II 2:12) Avi Avi Rechev Yisrael- My father my father chariot of Israel etc…)
That’s it. That’s the Rashi. Anything bother you about it? I’ll pause for a minute so you can read it again. Ok. So I had about 10 questions on this Rashi. Let’s see what you came up with.
Here’s what bothered me. Remember our rules about Rashi. First of all Rashi as we know is coming to explain the simple understanding of the text, in his words so that even a five year old may understand it. Second rule Rashi only quotes sources when necessary. He only quotes additional sources when one is not fully sufficient. Third rule Rashi only quotes the words necessary that he quotes to understand any problems he might have in the text. Ink cost a lot of money and when Rashi writes etcetera that means everything until the etc. was necessary. Fourth rule Rashi generally will try to utilize the words of the Midrash that he needs to explain it. If he changes the words of the Midrash it means he wants to express something different over here. Finally Rashi doesn’t just throw in extra information ‘while I’m at it’ when he writes something it as well is necessary for understanding the text.
Ok now go back and read the Rashi and tell me if you have any questions….
So I’ll share with you some of mine. And perhaps from there I’ll even give you a hint on where to go with it. But you have to do the rest of the work on your own,
A)    The simple understanding of sons is actually children why does Rashi understand that this is not the simple pshat of the verse and says that it means students?
B)    Why he does he need to quote so many sources? What does one have that the other doesn’t? Seemingly Rashi feels that need because he says that we ‘find in all places’ that it mean students. He thus needs to prove it from Torah, Prophets and scripture. Why?
C)    Why does he have to add in the children of the prophets of Beit El, why does he have to add in the words do not be negligent and why mention chariot of Israel as parts of the quotes.
D)    The Sifri-which is the Midrashic source for this is changed a bit by Rashi. There it mentions that Hezekia is the king of Israel which Rashi leaves out, yet Rashi adds in that he taught Torah to all of Israel.
E)     Finally why does Rashi have to add in that a teacher is called a father and why does he say it in an interesting way that just as they are children a teacher is a father what does one have to do with the other and what is he adding by that?
There’s some food for thought to ponder. I’ll give you an answer to at least the first part of the question A by the Lubavitcher Rebbe (you can cheat and look there for the answers to all of them as well as some other questions). He suggests that Rashi is troubled by the notion that a child will ask. If there is a mitzva for the father to teach his son Torah then why do I have to go to school? Why are there Rabbis and students? We don’t find anyone going to a Rabbi to fulfill any other commandment for them why by the teaching of Torah would someone try to absolve themselves of their commandment by having a Rabbi do it for them. Thus Rashi understands that the simple meaning of the word ‘sons’ over here is as it is in many places not literal natural children, rather it means spiritual children.
So there’s the beginning of your answer. I’m leaving it up to you figure out the rest.
But isn’t it amazing how much info can be found if we just took the time to really examine Rashi in  serious way! Amazing!

The Palestine Riots and Massacres of 1929- 10th Av August 15th 2005- In the summer of 1929 the Arabs of Palestine initiated rioting and massacres against the Jewish population in several towns. The targets were not Zionists who had dispossessed Arabs of their lands, but for the most part Jewish communities of the "old Yishuv," communities that had lived in Palestine for many hundreds of years. The pogroms were of the same general character as pogroms that had taken place sporadically  in Palestine for hundreds of years, usually referred to euphemistically by Jews of Safed, Tiberias, Jerusalem and Hebron as "Meoraot" - "events." The worst massacres took place in Safed, Hebron, Jerusalem and Motza. Like the pogroms of past ages, these "disturbances" featured angry crowds stirred up over a religious or other dispute, Imams preaching "Kill the Jews wherever you find them" and mobs screaming "Aleihum" (get them) and "Itbach Al Yahood" - murder the Jews. In a few days, over a hundred Jews were murdered and several hundreds were wounded.
Throughout the 1920s, tension had been brewing between Palestinian Jews and Arabs for some time, with little or no action by the mandate government to alleviate it. The Husseinis controlled the Palestine Arab Executive and Supreme Muslim Council. Haj Amin El Husseini was Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. The Husseinis hoped to further their position by exploiting hatred against the Jews. The issue of contention was an imagined Jewish threat to the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, centering around Jewish attempts to improve the facilities of the nearby wailing wall, a remnant of the Jewish temple, where they gathered for prayer. The wailing wall is part of the West Wall, Al Buraq, where according to Muslim belief, Muhammed tethered his horse when he was miraculously transported to Jerusalem. Thus, it is holy to Muslims too.
There is no doubt that the mosque built on the site of the temple was never a source of joy for Jews, but Jewish tradition holds that the temple can only be rebuilt when the messiah comes. The Zionists certainly had no designs on the mosque itself. The wailing wall however, because of its proximity to the mosque of Al Aqsa, was long a source of friction. Islamic law holds that no non-Muslims may pray in proximity to a mosque while prayers are held in the mosque, because that would disturb the prayers of the faithful. The Jews of Jerusalem had gotten many warnings during the hundreds of years of Muslim rule, about prayer at the wailing wall or in synagogues in the Jewish quarter that supposedly disturbed the prayers of the Muslims. This "Holy Place" was a natural place of contention.
In 1928, the Muslims tried to get the British to confirm their rights over the Western Wall, including the space used by Jews for worship. Husseini had helped to organize refurbishing of the long neglected mosques in Jerusalem now he initiated new construction activities in October of 1928. Bricks from the "construction" fell "accidentally" on Jewish worshippers in the wailing wall area below. The Arabs drove mules through the prayer area. Muezins (the announcers of the mosques) who called the faithful to prayer turned up the volume in their PA systems so as to disturb the Jewish prayer.
The Zionist community, especially the right, took up the challenge. Right-wing Zionists of the revisionist movement demanded Jewish control of the wall. Some even demanded rebuilding the temple, alarming the Muslims even more and providing a factual basis for the agitation. On August 14, 1929, about 6,000 Jews paraded in Tel Aviv and that evening, about 3,000 gathered at the wall in Jerusalem for prayer, a huge crowd for the then very cramped space. The next day the right-wing Betar revisionist youth paraded by the hundreds, carrying billy-club batons. Rumors circulated that the Jews were about to march on the Haram as Sharif - the Al-Aqsa mosque compound. The Arabs circulated inflammatory leaflets, apparently printed earlier. One read, "Hearts are in tumult because of these barbaric deeds, and the people began to break out in shouts of 'war, Jihad... rebellion.'... O Arab nation, the eyes of your brothers in Palestine are upon you... and they awaken your religious feelings and national zealotry to rise up against the enemy who violated the honor of Islam and raped the women and murdered widows and babies." The Jews had killed no-one, and had attacked no-one.
On Friday August 16, after an inflammatory sermon, a mass of Arab demonstrators proceeded from the mosques to the Western Wall, where they burned prayer books. The British were woefully unprepared to deal with disturbances. In all of Palestine there were 292 British police. In Hebron, there was a single British police officer commanding a tiny force of Arabs, many of them old, and one Jew.
On August 17, a riot in the Bukharian Jewish quarter of Jerusalem left one Jew dead. The funeral, held August 20, turned into a mass demonstration with cries for vengeance. Beginning on August 22, Arab villagers, armed with sticks, knives and guns, gathered in the Haram as Sharif. Following Friday prayers and the usual inflammatory sermon on August 23, they poured out into the streets of Jerusalem and proceeded to murder and loot. By the time the riots were over in Jerusalem on August 24, 17 Jews were dead. The rioters opened fire simultaneously in several neighborhoods. The small town of Motza was attacked by Arabs who killed every member of the Makleff family but one. A very young boy, Mordechai Makleff, hid under a bed. He grew up to be Chief of Staff of the IDF for a brief time during the War of Independence. Several settlements next to Motza had to be abandoned. Kibbutz Hulda was evacuated by the British. Arab marauders burned the kibbutz. The British killed 40 Arabs there. The worst fury of the Arabs, however, was directed at the tiny ancient Jewish community of Hebron, where 64-67 Jews were massacred in a few hours of rioting on August 24, 1924.
The British flew in additional reinforcements from Egypt and elsewhere. The riots spread to Tel-Aviv and Haifa and Safed.  In Safed, 18 Jews were killed and 80 injured.
In all 133 Jews and 116 Arabs were killed in the riots, 339 Jews and 232 Arabs were injured. Most of the Arabs were killed by the British police and some by the Haganah in self-defense.The massacres of 1929 had thus launched two themes that were to recur in the history of Israel and Palestine: agitation related to the al-Aqsa mosques and the Jewish desire for separation from the Arabs of Palestine, for self-protection.
The immediate consequences of the riots were that the British caved in to every demand of the Arabs. Though only a small number of Jews had immigrated to Palestine under the mandate, the British accepted at face value the claim of the Mufti that these immigrants, rather than the world economic depression, were at fault for the real or imagined woes of the Arabs of Palestine. In the year 1930, when unemployment reached 25% in some countries, Palestinian Arabs had an unemployment rate of 4%. This "misery" was the "fault" of the Zionist immigration. These were the findings of the Shaw commission which investigated the "causes" of the riots, and of the Hope-Simpson report, which was commissioned to justify the policy changes. Simultaneously with the Hope-Simpson report the British Government issued the Passfield White Paper, which made it clear that Britain intended to sharply curtail Jewish immigration. The Passfield White Paper of 1930 caused an uproar in Parliament however. The British also issued a set of discriminatory regulations that restricted Jewish rights in the wailing wall, returning the situation to the same state as existed under the Ottoman Empire, when Muslim - Jewish relations were governed by the inferior dhimmi status of Jews in Islam. And thus the stirrings of the War of Independence had begun.
Q: Did you hear the one about the geologist?
A: He took his wife for granite so she left him
Q: What did the boy volcano say to the girl volcano? A: I Lava You!
Q: How did the geology student drown? A: His grades were below C-level
. Q: Anyone know any jokes about sodium deposits? A: Na
Geology One Liners Did you hear oxygen and magnesium got together? OMg

And the one that helped me remember the difference in the above E-mail which is which
Cave formations are like ants in the pants: the mites to up and the tights come down
Answer is A – To be honest I don’t even know where the other places are on this question although I have heard of Yarka and sure I must have passed it just to lazy to check. But the truth is I pass Kfar Yasif often as it’s a few miles out of Akko. Jews back then would be buried over there as there is a question in the Talmud if the present day Akko was part of the biblical borders of Israel as the border cut inland. So they wanted to be sure that they would at least be buried in Israel. In fact there is a grave in this arab village in the old jewish cemetery that supposedly said Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato on it. Although today his grave can be found in Tiverya by Rabbi Akiva. Where is he truly buried? Was he moved? Why to Tiverya? You need come on one of my tours to find out J